November 4, 2012 by Last Star blog
Try try again….
OK, we’re really leaving this time. Well we hope to leave North Carolina. We got up this morning to frosty temperatures in Eastern NC. The television station from Greenville had temps in the high 30s and said we had temps in the 40s along the coast and the Pamlico sound. It was 50 degrees in the cabin and making coffee in those temps is not much fun; it gets better once you turn on the gas burners and can warm your hands a bit. We had a nice breakfast, got rid of some last bits of trash, gathered up both electrical cords, the hose, the remaining lines attaching us to the dock and pushed off about 9 AM with the new intention of skipping Beaufort and pressing straight to Cape Lookout. Beaufort and Morehead City have loads of tides and in the next few days winds to contend with while at anchor. When the tides switch and then you swing opposite the wind or your previous direction it can play nasty games with your anchor. We hope to skip the tidal issues while at Cape Lookout–we’ll still have the wind.
Our trip back to Adams Creek was uneventful; we sailed most of the way with just the headsail as it was a tailwind and we couldn’t be bothered to get the main-sail out. As we entered the ICW after Adams Creek the water was littered with logs, a bit of a dock and other debris from Hurricane Sandy. We stopped at Seagate marina for fuel and to pump-out the front holding tank ( I did not want to go out into the ocean with a full holding tank and have some sort of catastrophic blowout). NC is very strict on not sending waste from your toilets into the inland waterways and if stopped by the Coast Guard you can avoid some grief if you have recent pump out receipts and a log showing it. Getting on and off the dock was pretty easy but turning the boat in their miniscule basin was a bit of a challenge. Nothing was bent, scratched, or broken in the process so we called it good.
After the refueling Patricia made us an awesome lunch with warm homemade creamy zucchini soup and ham and cheese wraps. This brought us to the opening of the canal just north of Beaufort and we saw our first Dolphins of the day. We followed the markers to Morehead City, were lucky enough to catch the outgoing tide and entered the channel out to the ocean in some VERY messy seas due to the currents and inbound waves. After putting enough distance between us and the coast we turned east towards Cape Lookout. We had following seas but they were very difficult and made poor Cooper quite seasick. He was kind enough to deposit his lunch next to his litterbox–not quite in it though.
We got to Cape Lookout and were happy for its protective inlet to protect us from the waves coming from the southwest (not forecast I might add) and took a detour to snap a photo of some wild horses,
We poked our nose around a bit to look for an anchorage with the greatest protection from the wind. We managed to run aground in “20” feet of water–OK, might be time to annotate that chart again. We were able to back off the sandy bottom, reverse course and find some deeper water–thankfully.
We’re on the west side of the inlet, the water is very deep beneath us as the entire inlet has massive amounts of tidal water that scour the entire thing like a giant toilet bowl with a strong current. We inched close to shore, dropped the anchor in about 10-12 feet of water then were pushed back and to the side by the winds and current. After 2 hrs we are still in the same place so I guess we are holding.
We’ll see what tomorrow’s forecast holds. IF it is westerly we’ll sit tight another day as they are calling for North West the next day, that would prove way better for us rather than beating all day into a head wind and choppy seas. We’ve got 70 nautical miles across the NC Onslow inlet to get to Masonboro pass near Wrightsville Beach.